Peter Clifford – Director of Racing
Motorcycling and Grand Prix racing have been a life long passion for Peter Clifford who grew up in a family of bike enthusiasts. He was just six weeks old when taken to his first motorcycle race and his interest grew throughout his youth as he became involved in club racing.
After graduating from Mechanical Engineering in the UK, Clifford went to put his engineering skills to work for Paul Dunstall, the noted British manufacturer of motorcycle exhaust systems and accessories. An appointment as Technical Editor of Motor Cycle Weekly (a leading publication) followed next, which allowed Clifford to make the transition from engineering into what became a very successful journalism career, specialising in Grand Prix Racing.
Turning freelance upon the closure of Motor Cycle Weekly Clifford served 11 years as the Editor of motorcycling's influential annual bible Motocourse and also as grand prix correspondent for The Guardian (London) and a host of other international publications. This work fitted perfectly with Clifford's passion for television broadcasting and for more than a decade his commentary was heard on major international networks including Eurosport, TV3 (Malaysia), Prime Network and ABC in the USA and for five years with ABC (Australia) covering the Swann International Series.
In 1992 Clifford answered a call from American enthusiast and businessman Bob MacLean to manage the newly created independent racing team know as - World Championship Motorsports (WCM) which evolved into the Red Bull Yamaha Team.
For many years Clifford combined his media duties with that of team manager but the scale of operating a factory-backed GP squad in the world championship has seen Clifford relinquish his media duties for a management role.
"Concentrating on the team was a big step to take but one that I have really enjoyed," Clifford said. "The racing side wasn't new to me of course but the task of managing the people to get the best of the team has been the real challenge."
For Clifford the emergence of Garry McCoy and the Red Bull Yamaha as World Championship contenders has been a great reward. "Without doubt seeing Garry succeed, has been a reward worth all the effort. Great credit needs to go to his race engineer Hamish Jamieson and our race winning transition to using the 16.5 inch Michelin rear tyre. What Garry and Hamish did was totally against the run of play at that time in grand prix racing."
It is no surprise that Clifford is an avid collector of bikes and books (on motorcycles) and when time permits he is still a keen amateur racer. His library boasts an impressive 500 plus precisely catalogued titles and his garage a Yamaha V-Max, WR 250 enduro bike, a race prepared Yamaha R6 and a 1994 ROC 500 GP bike.
"I'm not sure how many GPs I've been in the past 25 years. I have I know that I have only missed one though" This quote epitomises this English gentlemen's dedication to this sport and his work although you will never here him call it work.